Tag: poem (page 1 of 2)

A Heart on Fire

A Heart on Fire

A heart on fire
 Burns away
 Decades pass
 Scars remain
 Ashes scatter
 Gather again
 A new flame rises
 An old heart pains
 Not forgotten 
 Sorrow wanes
 Hope rekindles
 Faith, reclaimed
 As living dwindles
 Love’s regained
 A heart on fire
 Burns, Always

“A Heart on Fire,” is a simple poem about the most difficult topic. So much has been written about Love yet it remains undefined. It can be felt even if cannot be described. It can be present, even if it goes unrecognized. It’s one of the few things whose store increases by being given away … and it comes in many forms, not just romantic, intimate embraces.

I suppose it isn’t the best timing, but I am interested in reading Love poetry that isn’t necessarily about those romantic, intimate partnerships. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But, where are the Odes to Friendship? The Sonnets for our Work Spouses? There are so many relationships full of LOVE—platonic, dutiful, companionate, familial, universal … I’d love to read more poems on these themes, too.

What about you? Tell me what poetry you enjoy reading and writing. Connect with me on any social media platform and let’s have a chat about poetry! Or, just share your links with me so I can see your work, too.

If you’re here for heartache, you might as well check out “Beast.” After all, I’m still here; living proof that there is life after loss.

Mornings in Bed

Mornings in Bed

 I long to get up out of bed everyday
 And charge straight ahead
 Greeting folks on my way
 To share just a bit of my burdensome mind
 And learn from the rest
 All the things that they find
 To be true, or intriguing
 Strange or perplexing
 To engage in a discourse
 With minds and hearts flexing
 Their power, agility—stamina, too
 Yet, too often I find I’m just struggling to
 Open my eyes and
 Turn on the light
 Dragged by some strong, unseen force 
 Towards the night
 I lie and I think … then feel myself crushed
 From my core, an abyss spreads 
 My sense of self hushed
 So, I can’t find the will to rise up
 Out of bed
 I toss and I turn while awake in that bed!
 Ensnared by some stranger
 Inside of myself
 I can’t turn off its voice 
 I can’t call out for help
 It’s madness, I know it
 But it’s there, every day
 I can scream, I can cry
 But it won’t go away
 And by the time that I manage to drag myself up
 The goals that I had for the day
 Have washed up
 On the shore where my heart meets my mind
 There appears
 A desolate landscape
 My hopes and my fears
 But, I promise, I try
 Every night, I prepare
 I think happy thoughts
 And stay fully aware
 Of the good that’s in me 
 Of the good that’s in you
 Of all of the reasons to live 
 Which are true
 But, every morning
 Without reason or cause
 Without fail I do find myself
 Caught in that pause
 and no matter how hard I do try to escape it
 that stranger inside takes its hold—
 I can’t break it
  
   

Mornings in Bed … a deceptive title? Not to me. I actually didn’t think about how different this daily ritual might be for other people until I came here to post it. To share it. Which is rather the point of starting this blog/site in the first place. The sharing, and the consideration of other people’s perspectives and experiences in light of that sharing. As often happens, I hope there are many people who cannot relate to this at all. If you can, you have my sympathy as much as my empathy.

And, as I’m already rambling about my work, I might as well reiterate how much I detest sharing my poems. My words and works will always be open to interpretation—which is fine so long as people don’t project their interpretations onto my psyche.

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.

~Anaïs Nin

I don’t know if it’s a mood … perhaps melancholia is part of my basic temperament? However, the lighthearted, childhood rhythm and rhyme of this poem contrasts with the subject matter in a manner that is very familiar to me. It’s very me. And, it reminds—in theme—of the last short story I shared here, “The Drive.” You might want to check that out, too.

I’ll be sharing the link to this over at Phoenix Fire Press, as well.

Beast

Because we all love poems about heartbreak.

 
You, oh, my darling,
 Are simply a beast
 Delightfully wild
 In a world of dull things

 Trapped from your birth in a world full of sorrows
 Thrust into a life full of so much deceit
 Without any means to rise up like the others
 Sensing threats to your ego since ‘ere you could speak

 Such horrible strangeness perceived all around you
 And, wherever you turned, something new to be seen
 Afraid of your shadow and the world that surrounds you
 No patience within
 Yet you learn for you’re keen

 To make sense of the chaos of life as you see it
 There’s no sense in the madness at all
 So you deem
 Yet you’re caught in its midst as it spins all about you
 And it feels like a beautiful
 Terrible dream

 Still it spins
 How it spins
 Oh, so madly about you

 And why isn’t it just
 Just as mad
 And about you

 After all
 Isn’t it all
 All about you

 And, I, oh, my darling,
 Oh, how weak I have been
 Hefting burdens, learnt lessons—their cost, oh, so dear
 The wisdom of living I’ve earned from
 My failings—all this weight I have carried with me
 Through the years

 And the pressure of rising
 Through the pain and the worry
 To the call of a voice that lives in me, unseen
 Had me numb to the world of sensations
 Beyond me
 I lived only in shadows
 And, otherwise, dreams

 Blind by the smoke of your fire igniting
 Within me the fires I’d put out with my tears
 Moved by your face to a vivid recalling
 Of aged aspirations and infantile fears

 Thus, compelled by my memories and against all my senses,
 I whispered my sensings and knowings to you
 Through murmurs while spent lying tied up together
 In soft, gentle tones, poured my heart out for you
 With patience I tried to make sense of your madness
 And hoped that you’d reach to be free as I do

 But, you!
 Oh, you, sweet little darling
 You!
 Oh, you, wondrous, marvelous beast
 Equipped with such cunning, such faithless desires
 And an unceasing drive to gain more to feel pleased
 A need deep inside to wield power over all things
 To just use what you’re given and return not the least

 The more that I gave you
 The less that you cared
 And the more I adapted
 The less that you shared
 And for all that I lent of
 Myself to your deeds
 The less you invested
 In me and my needs

 I loved you
 Or tried to
 You wouldn't be loved
 You felt caged
 And restrained
 And unable to trust

 AND IT TOOK ME
 months
 of those cold, sleepless nights
 weeks
 of anxiety with my heart clenching tight
 days
 full of only the deepest despair
 and hours
 of hopelessly wishing you here

 to finally recognize
 to finally see
 I am not at all like you
 Oh, no
 I am ME

 And that which I need from myself is far more
 Than you’d need me to be in your life
 And what’s more
 All that I’d need you to be for us both
 Is more than you’re willing to be 
 On your own

 Because I
 —oh, my darling—
 Am an ocean, you see
 I am vaster than any terrain
 Far more steep
 And deeper
 Than any place else that you’ve been

 I’ve my own driving forces
 I’ve my own paths to keep
 A duty to share of my life, my resources
 With all of the Earth and the life that she feeds
 For all of the creatures, the noblest and coarsest,
 Across every land that exists in my reach

 While the sound of my surf may have eased all your worries
 Lulling you into your most restful sleep
 And the sight of my body lying open before you,
 Filled you to your core with an unrestrained need
 The balm of my waters coaxed you to returning
 To cleanse and to rest—'twas your psyche I'd feed

 Recall that you walked upon just that one shore
 Only one, you decided, you’d ever explore
 And the truth is as simple as ever 
 You see
 Though my love was unceasing
 I am not what you need

 What you need is the shallowest pool
 Of a woman
 Present only for you when you feel that you need
 A light, easy dip of yourself in her waters
 And never a worry of hers must you keep

 A gazing pool—watery surface of body
 Female, adoring, and eager to please
 Prepared to reflect just for you
 Your own glory
 Back to your hungry gaze on decree

 But who
 Of her own
 Has so little to offer
 Less to explore
 And with no pressing needs
 Someone with whom you can spend a few hours
 Pleasing yourself at your leisure and speed

 A beautifully wrought
 Gilded bust of a woman
 Perhaps you’d prefer
 On your travels to keep
 For your pride and your vanity
 Wholly unbounded
 Emerge from an ego unrestrained in its deeds

 And let’s not forget
 Your most weak, basest impulse
 A muddy little puddle
 Of a woman you’d need
 To look down on upon when you’re feeling inferior
 One who'll smile in assurance as she just lies beneath
 Offering up all the filth you desire
 And on whom you can wipe off your boots as you leave

 But, I, do recall,
 Am an ocean, you, beastie
 And, you, how you'd drown in my depths
 If you’d please
 Venture to try to and make sense of my waters
 Or the treasures I guard deep inside of my being
 For, there, in the furthermost depths of my darkness
 In the blackest of dwellings within me I keep …
 Where even your brutally large claws are powerless
 And even your sharpest of eyes cannot see
 Where your huffing and puffing of breath is quite useless
 And the strength of your muscles ceases to be
 … the secrets of life I’d have lovingly whispered
 In the furthest abyss of myself they now sleep

 So, off with you then
 Just be gone, darling beastie
 Shoo
 Oh, you sweet, simple, foul little thing

 How I hope you create the successes you’ve dreamed of
 May you live out the rest of your life with your things
 Happy, at last, as you choose to define it
 High upon your own opinions—rise with Daedalus' wings

 And let there be always and ever
 A woman
 Just one, maybe two
 Very well, then
 How’s three

 All of them of that one sort or another
 Ever available
 To echo your speech
 Lovely and easy and sparkling creatures
 Each fitting neatly in your fantasy niche
 To shine bright as their purpose
 And reflect from their surface
 Only the best and most beautiful things
 In the light that pours forth,
 While they drown in its worth,
 From their majesty, you—their own self-serving king

 Best of luck, oh, you would-be Pygmalion
 No Galatea exists for you yet
 Don’t you see
 A woman so empty inside never has been
 You would have to create the faux creature you seek

 For of flesh, blood, and bone are created
 We women
 Equal to you though you dare not agree
 And our lives aren’t empty at all, not without you
 No, it’s you who are empty
 You sad, little beast

I originally shared this poem over at Phoenix Fire Press but now it lives here. I held onto this one for a long time but decided it was time to share it with the world. That’s my trouble, you see? The whole putting-it-out-in-the-world part of being a writer and, worse, a poet.
I don’t enjoy analyzing my work for others but this one is pretty straightforward. There’s a lot of pain here—serious, soul crushing heartbreak—and yet I was happy when I wrote it. I finally felt free … and still feel free today.
I’ve learned a lot and am grateful for the lessons. I hope my Beast is doing well. I know I am.

You can head over to my Poetry page to read more of my poems, of course. But, don’t worry. They’re not all poems about heartbreak.
Although, I’m beginning to notice that melancholia may be a recurring theme in my work.

#Cancelled

Being born Catholic is like being born cancelled
I heard someone once say
From your earliest days you are taught to apologize
For your fallen state
To beg mercy from an authority both benevolent
And capable of a terrifying rage

I realize now, though my faith has changed,
There is wisdom in the saying
To err is human, to forgive divine
For as a human I have erred
And forgiveness is hard to find
Even from myself
My life is like a bookshelf
Filled with volumes, filled with stages
I have lived—and how I’ve aged!

30 year old me cringes reading 20 year old me
And 40 year old me will cringe reading 30 year old me
And 60 year old me will cringe reading 50 year old me
And 80 year old me will cringe reading 70 year old me
And beyond the veil, Dead me
Will cringe while reading Living me

I’m sure that I’ve walked darker ways
Within my mind and heart
While searching for the light
Than within the world at large
And in another kind of life
Someday, perhaps, I’ll have to pay

Yet every moment, every day
I shed my skin—it's a new life that I live
I want to scream that I have changed
And learned the value of Forgive

I’m sorry for the times I’ve laughed
At someone else’s cost
For the judgments that I’ve passed
Gone unsaid, they’re still not lost
Upon my psyche—who I’ve been
And who I still fight, to this day

The ignorance, inherited
A debt which I cannot repay
Change happens from within so
Looking back, it’s hard to see
Who you have been in wild pursuit
Of who you hoped to be
Until you realize that who you are
Is not yet all the you that you could be

And age has made me feel
For those who’ve seen the error of their ways
Born ignorant of everything
We’ve had to learn along the way

And even in a life that’s mean
Some love may be alive
May find a way to grow and change
Some goodness yet may thrive

Separate the wheat from chaff
In both ourselves and others
Saint or sinner? What a laugh!
We’re sisters here, and brothers

Just people stumbling and faltering
Though words and deeds are right or wrong
No life is worth discarding  
For in this world we all belong
So without patronizing
And whether curse or blessing has befallen
Me—I’ll live my life apologizing
For my state of being fallen

I originally shared this over at Phoenix Fire Press on June 09, 2020.

June 04, 2020 in Buffalo, NY

Not a single heart 
among a nameless, faceless, uniformed mob
 Informed by a system intent to do more harm 
than good
 Uninformed of the way in which they wear a uniform 
that makes them see monsters 
beneath every hood
 And every mask—don’t bother to ask questions
 Answers don’t matter now 
as long as you stand 
with Black Lives Matter, man
 Knock an old man to the ground 
and walk away 
while his ears bleed
 Shoved him down without need, 
without cause built
 To offer help 
is to offer an admission of guilt
 That’s how you’re trained to see things 
instead of how to think 
things through 
in order to do the right thing
 Then claim he tripped and fell 
like how JFK’s brains just fell 
out of his head, too
 Whose law is at work in this disorder? 
And are there any borders you’re unwilling to cross 
to establish the right order?
 And what good could ever come of this, 
the way it is and the way it’s been, 
for anyone
—including you—
who isn’t sat atop the pyramid?
 It’s a scheme 
where they sell dreams 
to everyone who stands beneath 
their privilege 
 Because it seems 
as though there’s something 
more important for you to do 
 Than to be a brother or a sister 
to your fellow citizens
 Who you now see as merely wOkE denizens
 Of a world that’s rightfully yours, 
the lawfully good
 I would laugh if I could 
but it’s an awfully bad joke

This poem was originally shared over at Phoenix Fire Press on June 05, 2020.

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